EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|ISLAND OF THE DEAD (TV) (director/writer: Tim Southam; screenwriter: Peter Koper; cinematographer: Daniel Jobin; editor: Heidi Haines; music: Gaëtan Gravel/Serge LaForest; cast: Malcolm McDowell (Rupert King), Talisa Soto (Melissa O'Keefe), Kent McQuaid (James Neely), Bruce Ramsay (Tony Matos), Paul Hopkins (Rodger), Mos Def (Robbie J), Michel Perron (Captain Chanon), Daniel Pilon (Mayor); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Christine Kavanagh/Luciano Lisi; Unapix Entertainment Productions; 2000)|
|"If it wasn't for Malcolm McDowell slumming
in this B film,
it would have been a lot worse than just a bad film."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Tim Southam ("Drowning
cowrites with Peter Koper this poor man's horror
flick, that's never
scary (unless looking at maggots is scary), never
meaningful and never
interesting. It's a quickie made for TV pic. If it
wasn't for Malcolm McDowell slumming in this B film,
it would have been a lot worse than just a bad film.
Rupert King (Malcolm
tycoon, gets the deed from the city to Hart Island, a
place used by NYC
since 1869 to bury the paupers and unidentified in
mass graves. King is
build Hope City on the island for the homeless and
them shelter and a place to live as a second chance on
life. The tycoon
is undisturbed that the place might be cursed if he
unearths the graves
of the dead, and is undisturbed that his altruism is
not genuine. King,
major shareholder in a giant pharmaceutical company,
secretly plans to
use his unfortunate charity cases as guinea pigs for
death camp experiments by the Nazis!).
King's loyal aide
accompanies the vile philanthropist to Hart Island, as
the gushing mayor
(Daniel Pilon) in a formal ceremony gives him the deed
island. Also on the island are big-hearted Sgt.
Melissa O'Keefe (Talisa
Soto), from the
Missing Persons Bureau, who is
there to ID an orphan girl who was a murder victim.
She's met on the
island, after taking the ferry there, by the genial
Captain Chanon (Michel Perron), who is in charge of the island security.
The ferry also brings two non-violent convicts, the
metal musician Neely (Kent
McQuaid) and a
nice guy ex-cop
named Tony Matos (Bruce
claims he was framed by cops in his own
precinct and is optimistic that in his new trial
justice will be
served. I think some romance is in the air between
Melissa and Tony,
but that's handled so subtly that it might not be so.
In any case the
prisoners join a work detail with other prisoners,
that includes Robbie
J (Mos Def, hip-hop artist).
The highlight scene
thousands of disease-carrying flies attacking the
island guests, as
they hunt down the humans to show their disapproval of
what they have
done to Hart Island (but this is no Hitchcock's The
Birds, even if it
might wish it was!) and after one bite the vic's body
After being trapped on the island overnight, it was
not difficult to
guess which two survive the attack to live another day
in the city (as
if it mattered or anyone cared in this uninspiring
REVIEWED ON 3/9/2010 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ